International Students

At Cornell, we celebrate the great diversity and globalism of our university, its faculty, and students and we are excited that you are considering Cornell for your education. We invite you to explore what it is like learning at Cornell and living on our historic, beautiful campus in Ithaca, New York. 

Our applicants are an eclectic group, including international students who have moved among several countries or schools, U.S. citizens who have lived most of their lives abroad, or non-U.S. citizens completing school in the U.S. We read applications based on where you currently attend school, rather than by your citizenship status. Your application will be read with others from the school you attend and those from the same state (U.S.) or country.

Our international students follow the same application process as our first-year applicants or our transfer applicants. Cornell University admissions decisions for international applicants are need-aware. This means that they will be evaluated for admission with consideration of the ability of students or parents to pay educational costs. International applicants who do not apply for financial aid when they apply for admission (and who are admitted) will not be eligible to apply for financial aid at any time as an undergraduate at Cornell. Applicants who anticipate the need for financial assistance at any point during their undergraduate course of study at Cornell must apply for aid when they apply for admission. To apply for the university’s need-based financial aid program, applicants must complete and submit the CSS Profile by the deadline.

Important Note for International Citizens Regarding Financial Aid: The CSS PROFILE submission deadline for all international citizens who are applying for financial aid always corresponds with the undergraduate admissions application submission deadline communicated officially via the Cornell University Undergraduate Admissions Office website.

International Financial Aid Deadlines
Early Decision Financial aid application materials due for international students November 16
Regular Decision Financial aid application materials due for international students January 2
Fall Transfer Financial aid application materials due for international students March 15

Credentialing services or other forms of paid professional assistance:
Cornell University expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents or credentialing services.

The use of such services violates University policy and may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

All academic credentials and school materials must be in English and submitted by the school.  We will accept English translations done by a teacher or school official.  A copy of the original (untranslated) document should accompany the translated version.  If you are using an official translation service, all documents must be submitted by mail.

English Language Proficiency (ELP)

All Cornell students must have a strong command of the English language to be successful in their engagement in their university studies. If English is not your native language or if you have not attended high school in a country where English is an official language for the four years prior to your planned enrollment at Cornell, you may be asked to submit results from one of the following English language proficiency examinations listed below. We will consider and accept dozens of examinations and other qualifications from around the world in meeting the English Language Proficiency requirement.

The submissions and examinations that meet this requirement include, but are not limited to, the following:

Minimum score requirements for admissions consideration and to be most competitive in our review process:

  • 100 and above on the TOEFL iBT and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
  • 5.5 and above on the iTEP
  • 120 and above on the Duolingo English Test
  • 7.5 and above on the IELTS Academic
  • 70 and above on the PTE Academic
  • 191 and above on the Cambridge English Scale

Note: Minimum score requirements are listed above for any and all assessments and proxies for which we have designated a minimum qualification. If no minimum score is listed above for a particular English Language Proficiency assessment or proxy, there is no minimum qualification, and assessment and proxy results will be considered during the admissions application review.

Note: We do not superscore results from these assessments.

How do I know if I need to take a language proficiency test?

You do not need to if:

  • You are a US Citizen/Permanent Resident and/or English is your native language; or 
  • You received a score of at least 35 on the SAT Reading Test OR a score of 30 or higher on both the ACT Reading and English Sections.   
  • You have studied your most recent four years in a high school, college, or university in the U.S. or other nations where English is an official language. 
  • Please note that Cornell does NOT waive the TOEFL/IELTS test requirement for students who have attended an English-speaking school in a non-English speaking country.

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